Healing of the Blind Man by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Healing of the Blind Man

This painting portrays one of Christ’s miracles.  As He and His disciples left Jericho, they passed Bartimaeus, a blind man, begging on the highway.   “And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.  And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?  The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”1

The healing of the blind man is often painted, especially since it has become “a metaphor for Christ’s mission to heal the spiritual blindness of mankind.”2  “Emphasizing his blind condition, Bloch shows Bartimaeus begging in the shadow of the city walls; soon, he will stand and walk in the light.  His tattered raiment and the plate by his side attest to his dependence on the charity of others as they pass by.  As Jesus approaches, He reaches out to touch the eyes of the blind man.  The man on the left with a red turban looks on skeptically, and one of the disciples restrains the two young children so that this miracle may take place without interruption or commotion.”3

At Bloch’s funeral, the pastor spoke about this painting.  “He observed that through a lifetime of painting, Bloch had likewise opened the eyes of many to the beautiful things of the world and to the kingdom of God.”4

Further reading: “The Life of Christ Painted by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Further reading:  “What Manner of Men?  ‘As I Am’

  1. Mark 10:46-52
  2. Dawn C. Pheysey and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, The Master’s Hand: the Art of Carl Heinrich Bloch (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010) 87
  3. Dawn C. Pheysey and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, The Master’s Hand: the Art of Carl Heinrich Bloch (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010) 87
  4. Dawn C. Pheysey and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, The Master’s Hand: the Art of Carl Heinrich Bloch (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010) 35